Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

Students and former student from Disability History Month videos

Events roundup: 5-11 December

Here’s a roundup of our top events this week, including lots of Disability History Month (DHM) and festive events!

There are more chances this week to collect tickets for our magical candle-lit Carol Service at Canterbury Cathedral on 12 December.

Monday: Your Uni Your Say Festive Giveaway and Christmas events

Let us know your feedback in Nexus in Templeman Library and win a free gift including Kent drinking bottles and travel mugs, plus festive treats and cakes! #YourUniYourSay

Come and channel your inner Mariah Carey for some Christmas Karaoke in Mungo’s. Or for a creative Christmas activity, make some festive themed suncatchers in K Bar.

Tuesday: DHM exhibition and short film screening and finger casting workshop

Join us from 17:00 in Marlowe for the Disability History Month exhibition viewing and short film screening featuring current and former students and staff on their experiences of disability. Refreshments provided. Book your place.

Rescheduled from last week, come along to the finger casting workshop on Tuesday. Create a Plaster of Paris sculpture by casting your fingers and try your hand at Foil Embossing to create your own miniature wonders of art with local artist Wendy Daws. They make the perfect Christmas gifts!

Wednesday: DHM events and festive activities

Get that festive feeling by making your own snow globe in the Venue, or head to Grimond Lecture Theatre 3 for a festive movie night. The film will be ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and free popcorn will also be provided.

As part of Disability History Month, Chloe Timms, author and Kent alumnus will be presenting her debut novel ‘The Seawomen’. The book is an atmospheric dystopian story, portraying a tale of oppression, love and bravery on an island controlled by a misogynistic cult. Chloe is passionate about disability rights, having been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 18 months old.

Change 100 matches talented university students/recent graduates with any disability or long-term condition with progressive employers. Find out more about Change 100 internships and meet the alumni.

Sunday: Community Tennis Open Day

On Sunday Kent Sport are opening their doors to everyone at the Kent Sport Community Tennis Open Day. Come along and try out our indoor tennis facilities and enjoy some top class coaching from our Lawn Tennis Association qualified coaching team!

See more student events.

Opportunities

See more student opportunities.

Industrial action

Reminder: Industrial action 30 Nov and reimbursement (direct costs)

Following last week’s strike days, some members of the University and College Union (UCU) will be going on strike this Wednesday (30 November). This is happening at all universities across the UK and is part of a national dispute – as such our influence over this is limited.

We’re sorry for the further disruption this is likely to cause to your week. We are here to help and will do all we can to minimise the impact on your studies – we’ve put together some key links and info below, including information on how you can claim back any direct expenses as a result of the strikes.

What to expect on strike days

  • Some of your classes may be cancelled; union members don’t have to tell us if they are taking strike action so we won’t always know in advance.
  • You might see UCU members picketing on campus; these are peaceful protests which will be stewarded by the union.
  • Other services may be affected but we’ll work to make sure all essential support services are running as usual. Our libraries and catering outlets will also be open as usual.

See industrial action support.

How to claim back direct expenses

We will refund you for any direct expenses you incur as a result of industrial action.

To claim back any direct expenses, you will need to:

See student expense claims guidance.

“Thank you for patience throughout last week’s strike days and I apologise again for any disruption to your studies – we are working hard to mitigate any impact on our work and will continue to do so around the additional disruption on Wednesday.”

Professor Richard Reece, DVC Education and Student Experience

Becky, living with HIV for 7 years. "I rock the Ribbon to help fight HIV stigma". Wear a ribbon to show your support for people living with HIV

World AIDS day, 1 December

To mark World AIDS Day on 1 December, we are fundraising for the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Working to end the HIV/AIDS crisis

World AIDS Day is a time to come together to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS, and to work together to end the global HIV/AIDS crisis. Remember that if you are sexually active, you can protect yourself and others by using protection, including PrEP. It’s also important to get tested regularly, share your test results with your sexual partners, and where possible ask them for their test results. HIV-positive people can go on to lead healthy, happy lives, but it’s important to catch an infection early on to maximise the efficacy of treatment.

We must also campaign for fair distribution of PrEP and other preventatives, as well as sex education, not only within the UK but also to the Global South – more than a million adults and children die of AIDS each year on the African continent alone. Western governments and corporations control much of the supply of HIV-preventatives, and as citizens it is our responsibility to push to redistribute these more fairly.

How to donate

Terrence Higgins Trust are the UK’s leading HIV and Sexual Health charity. They support people living with HIV and amplify their voices, with the aim of destigmatising sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in particular.

On Thursday 1 December, it will be 40 years since the first case of HIV/AIDS in the UK. We will be taking the time to remember all those who were lost in the epidemic. If you’d like to wear a red ribbon to show your support, you can find these in Nexus, located in the Templeman Library, available for a small donation either in cash, online or via phone:

Text RIBBON1 to 70580 to donate £1

Text RIBBON5 to 70580 to donate £5

Inclusion pride flag

World Cup: Support for our LGBTQ+ community

We take the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students extremely seriously. Working with Kent Union, we want to capitalise on the world wide attention currently on the FIFA World Cup and the political standpoint of its host country, Qatar, to draw attention to where LGBTQ+ individuals still continue to suffer from a lack of rights, safety and belonging across the globe.

As part of this work, we want to ensure that all staff and students are aware of the support that exists for our LGBTQ+ communities at Kent.

Support at Kent

  • Rainbow lanyards are available for staff and students from most college and library receptions at Canterbury and Medway. Designed around the ‘Inclusion Flag’ which incorporates the Pride rainbow flag with pink, blue, brown and black representing the trans community and people of colour within the LGBT+ community. Wearing the lanyards shows students that they can ‘bring their whole selves’ to you without fear of judgement or an unsupportive reaction.
  • There is a support group in Canterbury that meets twice a month. It is open to trans, intersex and non-binary people at Kent. The group is run by trans/non-binary people for trans/non-binary people. Family and partners are welcome.
  • There are gender-neutral toilet facilities across our Canterbury and Medway campuses.
  • Student Support and Wellbeing offer free mental health support, counselling and peer support groups to all students and have an advisor with specialist LGBTQ+ support knowledge.
  • Kent Union run the LGBTQ+ Student Network and various student societies focused on support for students within the LGBTQ+ community.
  • For staff members, we have the LGBT+ Staff Network that is open to any staff member or student.
  • The Transgender Student Support Policy and the LGBTQ+ Study Abroad Guidance offer practical advice and information for students.
  • Check out our directory of LGBTQ+ self-help resources including details of free, confidential, specialist helplines and support group networks, such as Metro, The Be You Project, and Gendered Intelligence.
  • You can also update your gender and preferred name (which shows on your Microsoft Teams account) on KentVision.
  • Have you heard of the Gender Affirmation Fund? In early October 2022, Kent released a new Gender Affirmation Fund to support students who identify as transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming with the purchase of gender affirming items such as binders, clothing, packers, makeup, hair extensions, pouches, Stand To Pee devices, gendered religious headwear or clothing and minor cosmetic procedures such as ear piercing or for managing body hair. You can access the Gender Affirmation Fund via the link above; you must be a University of Kent student on a registered course and use the funds to support your purchase of gender affirming gear. Applications are capped at £100 per person.
  • Interested in running events or activities to help raise awareness or support our LGBTQ+ community? The LGBT History Month Planning Group (planning activities for LGBT History Month in February) has started meeting and any staff member or student is welcome to join. Email StudentEDI@kent.ac.uk to learn more.

Experienced hate or discrimination because of your gender identity?

You can report incidents of assault, harassment, and hate via the REPORT + SUPPORT tool, with or without giving your name. Even if you don’t choose to request support, by reporting an incident you will help to make the University a safer place for all.  Staff members can report under Ordinance 42. We also have Harassment Contacts available who can provide support and guidance.

Help us create a university community which belongs to all students, and where all students feel they belong by sharing this information on support for LGBTQ+ individuals at Kent. #InclusiveKent

Christmas tree closeup of bauble

Events roundup: 28 November – 4 December

Disability History Month (DHM) continues this week with more events as well as a timeline of disability history at Kent and film series with students, staff and alumni sharing their experience of disability. Check out the DHM website.

Our magical candle-lit University Christmas Carol Service in Canterbury Cathedral returns on Monday 12 December! You can collect your tickets this week.

Here’s a roundup of our top events this week:

Monday: Meet Staff Disability Network and Medway Study Night

Meet with the Staff Disability Network as part of Disability History Month. Have a drink and biscuit with members of the Staff Disability Network to learn about their activities and how you can get involved. Find out more about what the network can do to support you.

Join a Medway Study Night in the Oasis Lounge on Monday. There will be tea, coffee, biscuits and treats to keep you going.

Tuesday: Finger Casting, careers values workshop and free manicure/massage (Medway)

Come along to a Finger Casting Workshop – create a Plaster of Paris sculpture by casting your fingers and try your hand at Foil Embossing to create your own miniature wonders of art with local artist Wendy Daws.

Match your values to your career journey in this online workshop. The session shares tools to help you to work out your career goals, desired outcomes, preferences and personal values. It also includes practical exercises to help you use your values to find the right role for you.

On Tuesday at the Hub, you can choose between a free gel manicure or a massage to help you relax and unwind.

Wednesday: Industrial action support drop-in, cooking session and Christmas decoration making

Wednesday is a UCU strike day, so your teaching may be affected today. The College and Community Life Team will be offering drop-in support sessions for any students affected by the industrial action. You can head to Locke Building between 9:00-17:00 to chat to one of the Residential Life Assistants or College Life Officers. Find out how to prepare for a strike day.

Want to improve your cooking skills? The chefs of Darwin kitchen are running a cooking session (£5 per person) making pasta with tomato, courgette, parmesan and homemade spinach balls. Yum. Book your place.

Get into the Christmas spirit and make some decorations for your accommodation. Drop in, listen to some festive tunes and get creative.

Thursday: Careers events and Neurodivergent workshop

On Thursday there are a few careers with social impact events including NHS Careers and Skills in Healthcare, Science and Social Care virtual panel, How to start a career in think tanks and policy and how to answer interview questions.

LSSJ presents ‘How to Manage your Workload: The Neurodivergent Way’. Do you often feel overwhelmed by deadlines? Learn how to use online tools, tips and tricks to make your workload seem manageable. This is a hybrid event so you can either join in Kennedy Building or online. The workshop is led by a fellow neurodivergent student, and followed up with a social event with light refreshments.

Saturday: Wild Wellbeing Christmas tied door garlands

On Saturday you can make some Christmas tied door garlands at the Kent Community Oasis Garden. Spent some time in nature and craft using natural materials.

See more student events.

Opportunities

See more student opportunities.

 

 

Safety

Free personal safety items

College and Community Life and the Transport Team recently set up a stall in the library to hand out safety equipment including personal alarms, torches and anti-spiking devices.

Students looking at free personal safety items in library

With earlier sunsets as winter gets closer, we have a range of free items which support getting home safe including personal safety alarms, torches and high-visibility bands.

We also have a variety of anti-spiking devices you can pick up for free to take with you on a night out.

You can visit Security and Transport Centre or Medway Security Office to collect any of the following items for free:

  • Personal safety alarms
  • Torches
  • Stop Topps (Single use cup covers)
  • Bottle caps
  • Be bright be seen snap bands
  • Information on University safety services
Industrial action

Reminder: Industrial Action 24-25 and 30 November

Some members of the University and College Union (UCU) will be going on strike this week on Thursday and Friday (24 and 25 November), as well as Wednesday next week (30 November). This is happening at all universities across the UK and is part of a national dispute – as such our influence over this is limited.

We’re sorry for the disruption this is likely to cause to your week. We are here to help and will do all we can to minimise the impact on your studies – we’ve put together some key links and info below.

What to expect on strike days

  • Some of your classes may be cancelled; union members don’t have to tell us if they are taking strike action so we won’t always know in advance.
  • You might see UCU members picketing on campus; these are peaceful protests which will be stewarded by the union
  • Other services may be affected but we’ll work to make sure all essential support services are running as usual. Our libraries and catering outlets will also be open as usual.

How to prepare for strike days

The impact of industrial action can be hard to predict and is likely to be different in different areas. It’s best to plan ahead as far as you can and get in touch if you’re not sure about anything:

  • Talk to your lecturer – to find out if they are taking part in strike days. Not all staff will be on strike and many classes will go ahead as scheduled so it is best to ask in advance so you can plan around it.
  • Keep receipts – if you arrive at a lecture or seminar to find it has been cancelled, keep a record of the direct costs you incurred so we can reimburse you.
  • Still submit work – if you have a deadline on a strike day. You still need to submit work unless advised differently by your Division or lecturer.
  • Meet with your lecturer after strikes – for support and advice on how to catch up with missed work.
  • Ask for help if you need itsee our support webpage for who to contact if you have questions or concerns about industrial action.

Academic Experience Reporting Tool

Use Kent Union’s Academic Experience Reporting Tool to record any missed teaching and to let us know if you have incurred any direct costs as a result of this, so we can reimburse you.

Buttermarket, Canterbury

Job opportunity: Safer Streets Canterbury project

The Canterbury Community Safety Partnership is looking to hire Student Partners to support the project deliver of Safer Streets 4. This is a paid role.

The partnership has been awarded funding from the Home Office to identify ways to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls and conduct research on how we can make Canterbury safer for its residents, including students. This funding is supporting the development of research, training, safety resources, a central website and safety packs for patrons of Night Time Economy (pubs, clubs and bars) in the city, alongside other exciting projects.

This role is an opportunity for you to be an active participant in change for Canterbury, making it a safer place to live and study. As a member of the project team , you will be required to (but not limited to):

  • Conduct research, including research design, data collection and analysis.
  • Organise and facilitate focus groups/semi-structured interviews.
  • Liaise with key partners, including attending meetings.
  • Provide advice and gather information in a coordinated manner from students and the wider Canterbury community that will aid the project’s progression and provide
  • important strategic insights.
  • Contribute to developing and delivering training packages that focus on awareness
  • Contribute to the development of key resources and the production of safety packs.

Interested in applying? Find out more and apply for the role.

Find out more about the Safer Streets Canterbury project.

Student and staff sustainability champions from School of Anthropology and Conservation

FutureProof: Become a Sustainability Champion

Are you interested in sustainability and trying to make a difference at Kent? Get involved with FutureProof, our response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

FutureProof aims to inspire individuals, departments and the whole University community to take action in ensuring that our estate, our curriculum and our students are ready for the future.

How does FutureProof Work?

The Sustainability Team works with departments to identify a key individual who can act as the department’s Sustainability Champion. Or if you are interested in being a Sustainability Champion you can contact the Sustainability Team directly. The Sustainability Champions are key to the project’s success, therefore training is at the heart of the project.

A series of workshops will run throughout the year on key issues such as climate change, resource use, supply chains and food. There will also be skills workshops that focus on communication, leadership, marketing, systems thinking and problem solving. For these skills workshops, sustainability will be used as the theme, however, these skills are transferable to a wide variety of workplace needs for staff.

Kelda McCabe, Business Information Officer, says “As a Sustainability Champion, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with colleagues I wouldn’t ordinarily work with, on projects I wouldn’t ordinarily hear about. It’s opened up all sorts of doors at the University. There are so many opportunities to get involved in a way that suits your interests and time.

Being part of a group of people who care about the world and our impact on it has made the world of difference to how I feel about the climate crisis and the future of our planet. It’s a wonderful space to learn, to hear good news stories, to be motivated into action.”

Next FutureProof workshop: Urban agriculture, resilience and community. What can we learn from the Cubans about crisis and sustainability?

Join us on 1 December at 12:30 for our first FutureProof guest talk by Sustainability Champion Dr William Rowlandson. William will be drawing from his own expertise of Cuba and how sustainability projects rose from crisis in this hour-long, creative, practice-based workshop.

“Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, Cuba entered a period of economic crisis, in which citizens suffered a catastrophic loss of essential goods – from foodstuffs to medicine and machinery. The sudden loss of oil imports led to an energy crisis that paralysed the nation, radically reducing electricity production, transport, industry and agriculture. In response to these shortages, communities across Cuba initiated projects and activities to provide the basic requirements for surviving the sudden decarbonised economy.

These projects – such as urban organic farming, vermiculture (worms!), seed-swaps, community composting, local markets, street kitchens (paladares), repair and reuse of goods and materials, energy-saving cooking methods, and transport sharing – were initially community-conceived and led, pursued without state approval, arising not out of a desire to achieve sustainability goals, but out of urgent necessity. With the success of these projects and the consequent alleviation of food scarcity and poor nutrition, the Cuban state provided resources and expertise and passed legislation to sustain the communities and the projects.”

In this creative, practice-based workshop, we will consider this historical (and ongoing) context with lots of open discussion. Refreshments will be provided, and please feel free to bring your lunch along with you.

How to get involved

If you’re interested in becoming a Sustainability Champion, or attending the next FutureProof event, please email The Sustainability Team sustainability@kent.ac.uk who will send you the event invite.

You can also check out the ‘Twin your toilet’ initiative. To encourage more people to report faults, the Estates department has pledged to sponsor a toilet through the ‘Twin your Toilet’ scheme for the first 10 toilets to be reported. If you report a faulty toilet you can even nominate your favourite toilet to be twinned!

 

 

Students climbing outdoor stairs at Medway campus

Events roundup: 21-27 November

Here’s a roundup of the top events this week. And huge congrats to our students who are graduating this week! #KentGrads

Monday: Medway Pool Tournament

Get to know new people by playing a game of pool in the Oasis Lounge at the Medway Pool Tournament. This event is hosted by your Medway Residential Life Assistants, come by yourself or bring a friend.

Wednesday: Warner Bros. Studio Tour, DHM events and free talk on Sleep

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Explore iconic sets and discover what it took to bring the Harry Potter films to life at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour with Kent Union at a discounted ticket price (travel included).

On Tuesday you can join some Disability History Month (DHM) events including plant pot painting inspired by sunflowers, often used as a visual clue for those with hidden disabilities. Plus a DHM workshop about accessibility and coming up with ideas for inclusion, and a chance to kickstart your career with Change 100 and learn how to ask for adjustments in the workplace.

The Medway Talks open lecture series continues with a free talk ‘Sleep and our Biological Clock’, by Professor Gurprit Lall, who is a neuroscientist based at Medway School of Pharmacy. Open to all, but registration is required. Sign up now.

Thursday: Cultural Food Festival and industrial action support drop-in

Thursday is a UCU strike day, so your teaching may be affected today. The College and Community Life Team will be offering drop-in support sessions for any students affected by the industrial action. You can head to Locke Building between 9:00-17:00 to chat to one of the Residential Life Assistants or College Life Officers. Find out how to prepare for a strike day.

On Thursday evening, come along to Rutherford Dining Hall for a Cultural Food Festival! Find out about other cultures as our student groups will be there throughout the night serving up their dishes for all to try.

Friday: Celebrate Consent, Bubble Football and industrial action support drop-in

Friday is a UCU strike day, so your teaching may be affected today. The College and Community Life Team will be offering drop-in support sessions for any students affected by the industrial action. You can head to Locke Building between 9:00-17:00 to chat to one of the Residential Life Assistants or College Life Officers. Find out how to prepare for a strike day.

Celebrate consent with craft, books and action at Nexus in Templeman Library. Drop by and have a look at the ‘Consent. Get it. Full Stop.’ book list, pick up a free bookmark, and take part in craft activities including badge making. You can also make your pledges for the #ConsentGetIt campaign.

At Medway, have a laugh playing Bubble Football. No football experience required!

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Opportunities

See more student opportunities